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Fristho

Friesche Stoel- en Houtwarenfabriek (Chair and Wood Items Factory), in short Fristho, was set up in 1921 in Franeker. At first Fristho produced regular solid chairs for traditional consumers in towns and cities. However, just after the war, the managers of the factory found out that completely different furniture had been sold then in the world, today such furniture is called “mid-century modern”. The following young Dutch and German designers were invited to cooperate – William Watting (an American based in Denmark), Rudolf Glatzel and Inger Klingenberg. Klingenberg designed, among other things, one of the most famous furniture from the Fristho collection – IK chairs. It was a very modern construction in that time with the seat separated from the frame. The chair was produced by Fristho until the late 1970s. However, the factory owes its biggest success to Kho Liang Ie, a Dutch of Chinese origins. Two series of furniture by this designer – J-serie and Copal-serie, became a great artistic and commercial success. Fristho became one of the most praised factories in the years 1959-60, alongside Pastoe, Artifort, Gispen and Spectrum. The Fresian factory sold its furniture in cities such as Los Angeles, Paris and Milan. The 1970s brought a great change in tastes and, instead of modern furniture in the spirit of functionalism and Scandinavian modernism, heavy tenement furniture with very traditional origins came back. Due to the crisis at the end of the 1970s, the fate of the magnificent and innovative Fristho factory was sealed, it had to stop manufacturing in 1978.